Young Homeowners Are Getting Friendlier

Good schools, a spacious garage, and rad neighbors? Every homebuyer has a list of criteria for their dream home, and those criteria may be changing for your younger clientele. While millennials express more appreciation for neighborhoods and community, your marketing and messaging to younger prospects and clients may need to be updated to reflect their changing values! Understanding your younger clientele will help you anticipate their needs and provide relevant and exceptional service.  

These days, young homeowners are a friendly bunch of people, and it’s likely that the COVID-19 pandemic is the cause of it. According to Bank of America’s 2021 Homebuyer Insights report, 63 percent of young homeowners like their neighbors more after spending more time at home in 2020. 

Older homeowners didn’t experience as much of a shift in feelings surrounding community and neighborhoods. Around 50 percent of millennial homeowners stated that the importance of community increased for them recently. In contrast, just 32 percent of older homeowners said the same thing. 

It’s possible that older adults didn’t experience a shift in the importance of community in the past year because it was already important to them. A 2019 study found that on average, baby boomers met eight of their neighbors and became friends with 41.2 percent of those they met. Millennials, on the other hand, met only 5.8 neighbors and became friends with just 28 percent of those they met. Older generations were more neighborly to begin with than younger generations. 

The friendliness of younger generations comes with a catch, though. Among millennial homeowners, 72 percent said they prefer neighbors who have the same interests as them. Older generations are less picky. Only 28 percent of baby boomers said they prefer their neighbors to have similar interests. 

Not all millennials are getting friendlier, though. Some have remained unhappy with their neighbors, regardless of whether they had shared interests. It’s specifically millennial homeowners who reported liking their neighbors more over the past year. Young non-homeowners reported just the opposite.  

Roughly 64 percent of young homeowners said increased time at home made them like their neighborhood more, while only 32 percent of young non-homeowners said the same. In fact, 18 percent of young non-homeowners said increased time at home has actually decreased their satisfaction with their neighborhood. 

This disparity in neighborhood satisfaction could be explained by research that shows homeowners are more likely to become friends with neighbors than renters. In fact, millennial homeowners meet 25 percent more neighbors and make 1.4 times as many friends with neighbors as millennial renters.

So whether you’re working with younger or older clients, it’s clear that neighborhood culture is changing and buying habits along with it. When working with younger clients, it may pay off to emphasize neighborhood amenities as effective selling points. We’ll see how neighborhood dynamics continue to shift as people start to leave their homes more and more throughout 2021. 

To learn more about how these changes affect your business, schedule a FREE business strategy session with our team of analysts today!